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Ecuador

If you’re travelling to Ecuador our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Natural Disasters and Climate
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

For the latest update please read the General COVID-19 Travel Advisory >

Overview

Security Status

Avoid non-essential travel.

Security Status Last Updated: 15 March 2020

Latest Travel Alert

COVID-19 is still a threat, but with continued public health measures, vaccination and testing, it will be possible to travel internationally. You will need to plan your travel carefully and there are risks.

Department of Foreign Affairs services and practical supports to all Irish Citizens travelling abroad can be found on dfa.ie/Travel

We advise against all non-essential travel to Ecuador.

Travel to Ecuador

Commercial flights are operating to and from Ecuador. All land borders with Peru and Colombia remain closed until further notice.

All those arriving in Ecuador must have a negative RT-PCR or antigen test, taken no more than 3 days before their arrival in Ecuador OR a vaccination card showing they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Any passenger that shows suspected symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival at the airport in Ecuador as determined by airport health official, will be given another antigen test. If the passenger tests positive, they will be required to complete 10 days of mandatory quarantine in their residence or other accommodation of their choice, at their own expense.

Wearing facemasks in public spaces is mandatory throughout Ecuador. Fines will be given to those who do not comply.

Passengers arriving from Brazil must present a negative RT-PCR test, or an antigen rapid test, taken up to 72 hours prior to their arrival in Ecuador and must self quarantine for 10 days either at home or in a hotel, at their own expense. If the passenger is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with the latest dose administered at least 14 days prior to the flight date, there are exempted from the requirement to self-quarantine.

COVID-19

Ecuador continues to experience community transmission of COVID-19 and a number of restrictions are in place to control the spread of the virus.

A national public health emergency remains in place. Public health and travel restrictions remain under review and continue to be adjusted from time to time. 

Each municipal government can determine their own specific restrictions including, but not limited to, maximum capacity for public transport and institutions, operations capacity of private businesses, the circulation of private vehicles against licence plate numbers, health prevention protocols for all businesses and industries and alcohol consumption. There is a strong recommendation for all individuals to comply with social distancing measures and practice frequent hand washing.

If you are in Ecuador, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities.

See links to relevant websites below:

CoronavirusEcuador.com – Portal with official information about the pandemic in Ecuador

Ministry of Public Health/Ministerio de Salud Pública (in Spanish)

Ministry of Health on Twitter (in Spanish)

Quito Municipality on Twitter (in Spanish, for updates on restrictions in Quito)

Guayaquil Municipality on Twitter (in Spanish, for updates on restrictions in Guayaquil)

Quito International Airport

General Travel Advice

We advise against all travel within the 20km exclusion zone along the border with Colombia, except for the official border crossing town of Tulcan in Carchi province.

We advise that you avoid non-essential travel to

- the areas of Tarapoa and the Cuyabeno reserve outside the 20km zone in Sucumbios
- the areas of El Angel Ecological Reserve inside the 20 km exclusion zone in the province of Carchi
- all other areas of Esmeraldas province outside the 20km exclusion zone.

Civil unrest

There were nationwide protests across Ecuador between 3 and 13 October 2019, which caused extensive disruption. Some of these protests became violent, especially in Quito, and led to a number of fatalities. Demonstrations and blockades could occur again in any location with little to no warning. 

If you are travelling in Ecuador, you should remain vigilant, avoid any protests or demonstrations and keep up to with developments via official sources and local media.

Earthquakes and natural disasters

Ecuador is situated in an area prone to seismic activity. There is increased risk of earthquakes, and other natural disasters. You should make yourself familiar with evacuation procedures in whatever area of the country you are in, and in case of emergency, follow the advice of the local authorities.

Travel to Ireland

Up to date information on travelling to Ireland can be found on gov.ie 

Information on Travel within Europe (EU/EEA) can also be found on Re-open EU.

 

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Crime

Crime can be an issue in Ecuador and you should take sensible precautions.

There is a continuing risk of violent crimes against foreign nationals with reports of European nationals being attacked, robbed and sexually assaulted. The area of La Mariscal, popular with tourists, can be particularly dangerous.

You should remain extremely vigilant and cautious about your surroundings whilst travelling around Ecuador, especially on arrival in the country.

Crime by unregistered taxi drivers is also on the rise. If you require a taxi, please ensure that you only hail an authorised radio taxi (yellow cab); these taxis display their taxi registration sticker on the windscreen and doors and have licence plates.

Interstate travel is dangerous, with an increase in robberies at bus stations. We advise against travelling at night.

The Northern border with Colombia has a higher crime rate, including kidnappings, than the rest of the country, and we advise against all travel to this region.

Tours and Adventure Activities 

Transport and tour operators don't always follow recommended safety precautions and maintenance standards, including for adventure activities. Visitors are advised to exercise caution when undertaking these activities and ensure they are fully aware of the risks involved. Make sure you use a reputable operator and check that the equipment is in good condition. It is strongly recommended that you have a comprehensive insurance policy. 

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Illegal Drugs

Drug trafficking is a serious problem in Ecuador. Do not handle illicit drugs, and do not transport packages in your luggage back to Ireland for anyone, even if they are well known to you. Arrests for drug trafficking are common and conviction leads to severe penalties, including up to two years being held on remand prior to sentencing and lengthy prison sentences in harsh and dangerous conditions in Ecuadorian prisons.

Natural Disasters and Climate

Natural disasters and climate

Please be aware that Ecuador is in an earthquake zone and is also subject to volcanic eruptions. Travelers should check the website of the National Ecuadorian Geophysics Institute for the latest information.

Climate

The country has a very wide-ranging climate. The four main regions of the country are La Sierra (Highlands), La Costa (Coastal Lowlands), El Oriente (Amazon region) and the Galapagos Islands and each of them has different temperatures, climates and seasons.

La Sierra (Highlands) has cooler weather and temperatures change with altitude. In the Andes, the climate changes according to the elevation and the period of the year. The temperature in Quito at night is 7ºC, 26ºC at midday; the average temperature is around 16ºC. La Costa's (Coastal lowlands) climate is normally very warm with an average temperature of 25ºC to 31ºC throughout the year. The rainy season is from December to May which is warm and very humid. The dry season is slightly humid. The climate in Piedra Blanca (settled between the upland and lowlands) is very pleasant. El Oriente (Amazon region) usually has a warm, rainy and humid climate. Average daylight temperature varies from 23ºC to 25ºC. The Galapagos Islands experience warm and dry climate which continue throughout the year, 28º C is the average temperature.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

If you are unsure of the entry requirements for this country, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the country’s nearest Embassy or Consulate.

You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.

Passports

It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.

Health

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling (8 weeks)to see if you need any vaccinations for Ecuador.

There is a risk of Zika Virus (a dengue-like mosquito-borne disease) in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Irish Citizens especially those with a weakened immune system or women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant are advised to follow guidance available on the website of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) at http://www.hpsc.ie/A-Z/Vectorborne/Zika/.

Dengue Fever

Ecuador is a risk country for dengue fever transmission. Take precautions against being bitten by dengue-carrying mosquitoes, which are active throughout the day.

Malaria

Malaria risk is present throughout most of the country. You should discuss anti-malarial treatment with your doctor before you travel, and take adequate precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness can also present problems, especially in Quito which is located 2800 metres above sea level. You should seek medical advice on the risks of altitude sickness before traveling to Ecuador.

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

Outside office hours, for genuine emergencies involving Irish citizens, which cannot wait until the next working day, please call +56 8191 6981

You may also wish to contact the Duty Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.

Embassy of Ireland
Apoquindo 2929
Piso 1800
Las Condes
Santiago
Chile

Tel: +56 9 3918 3541 (Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm)

(Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Embassy is not currently open to the public – visits on an appointment-only basis)

Contact us

Get travel and medical insurance

From 1 May 2018 it will be mandatory for tourists to carry valid health insurance. The Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.